You have most likely used Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) without even realizing it. The phone at your desk at work most likely uses VoIP, as do Skype meetings, and even your Xbox at home. In today’s Internet-driven world, VoIP offers many benefits over traditional phone systems. So, what exactly is VoIP and why is it beneficial?
What is VoIP?
VoIP is the transmission of voice and multimedia over the Internet. Essentially, the audio or video is transferred into a digital signal, which is then transmitted over the internet to the receiving end where it is converted back into its original form. VoIP allows almost any internet connected device to be utilized as a phone including computers, smartphones, tablets, or VoIP enabled handsets.
Benefits of VoIP
Often costing less than traditional phone service because it leverages the internet service you are already using, VoIP offers higher quality audio and more features such as call recording, queues, custom caller ID, auto attendants and voicemail to email. Additionally, it provides Unified Communications in that many different types of communication technologies can be consolidated into one system. For businesses, this allows employees to easily communicate without jumping from application to application. It can include instant messaging, video and audio calls, voicemail, team chats, texting and more. Remote workers can access all of these services from home or elsewhere via the company intranet, making telecommuting easy and connecting employees worldwide via several different communication methods.
A common misconception regarding VoIP is that if the power goes out, so does the ability to make and receive calls. This is a myth as calls can be forwarded to smart phones or other devices in the case that the Internet goes down. And, if you or your employees are always on the go, VoIP calls can transfer from one device to another. For example, if the phone at a desk rings and no one answers, it can automatically transfer to ring on an employees smart phone after a certain number of rings.
The bottom line is that VoIP offers businesses flexibility and ease of use that traditional phone lines can’t provide as efficiently or cost effectively. While change can be scary, reaping the benefits of this robust technology can give businesses a serious competitive advantage.